Song Swap with Todd Hoke and George Ensle
later on. In 1977, George won the prestigious Kerrville New Folk competition and one of the judges, Townes Van Zandt, later included George as one of the contemporary performers he admired along with Guy Clark, David Olney, and Gamble Rogers. His songs have been recorded by Gary P. Nunn, Bob Cheevers, Will T. Massey, Jeff Talmadge, The Flyin’ A’s, Chuck Hawthorne, and others. After more than 50 years as a performing songwriter, George was inducted into the Houston Folk Archives at Rice University in 2017. He has released 7 studio albums and 2 live albums.
Todd’s songs cover a wide array of topics, styles, and moods often described as rootsy folksy bluesy musicy music. His influences include Townes Van Zandt, Leon Redbone, Guy Clark, Tom Waits, and Louis Armstrong. According to his website, Todd does not sing songs about rainbows, unicorns, dolphins, elves or fairies. Todd has released 3 albums and he donates 100% of money from his CD sales to charity, proving that Todd is a nice person, as his mother has said (according to Todd, I have not been able to independently confirm that however).
One of the most memorable shows that we have hosted over the past 8 years was a song-swap with George Ensle and Todd Hoke and we are excited to have them back to entertain us with their songs and wit. This concert will be shortly before my birthday and I can't think of a better to celebrate than with a houseful of friends enjoying these two fine songwriters.
George is a song painter. Crafting songs with reverence and compassion mixed with a healthy dose of wit and wisdom, he portrays real people making it in the real world. After being given his first guitar by his parents at age 13, George learned how to play classically which influenced his unique finger picking style
"George is a genuine Texas troubadour, playing and singing in the tradition of Townes, Jerry Jef, and Guy...George's songs are storysongs. The lyrics tell us about real people and life in general." - Fred Schmalle, Mazz Musikas, Antwerp, Belgium
"Somehow you just know it when you see it, or in this case hear it. You can’t explain it. It just is. What “it” is in this case is the extraordinary ability of Todd Hoke to touch you with a song and a story from an angle that few would ever think to explore." - Scott McCarley, singer/songwriter
"George's songs are visions." - Dalis Allen, Producer, Kerrville Folk Festival
"When Todd Hoke plays a house concert, the audience feels an immediate kinship. Todd's laid back style creates a down home rocking-chair-on-the-backporch event which everyone enjoys. Our audience left the show feeling as if they had known Todd for years and are hoping he does another show soon. Your audience will feel the same." - Connie Gray, Mountain House Concerts
"George blends spoken word with his deep clear vocals, telling lessons of righteous living and hard work." - Tom Tranchilla, D.J., Songwriters Studio, KPFT, Houston, TX
"...The possum reference can't be easily explained. I would have to explain Todd Hoke and so far as I know, no one has ever been able to do that adequately. But trust me, you'd like him." - Dorothy Hamm
"Strong narratives and clear images are a hallmark of George's songwriting." - Tony Wilson, D.J., Roots and Branches, KZSM, San Marcos, TX